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WEEKLY WILDCARDS 2017/18: FPL Gameweek 8

Ahead of each round of Premier League games The Hype Train analyses the best wildcard player options for your Fantasy Premier League teams. Historically, weekly FPL Dream Team’s comprise of mostly differential players whose selection falls with a low selection percentage of overall players, to which there is no doubt that their influence cannot be ignored. With such an abundance of points coming from the FPL’s hidden gems The Hype Train selects one player from each Premier League match in the upcoming Gameweek to decide who could be the differential that sets your team apart. All aboard.


The rules for the 2015/16 season were easy enough to follow. The only rule was that a player had be to selected by less than 5% of the FPL's populace. With 2016/17's price changes, and player selection trends, we were been forced to revise our rules on what constitutes a differential. Now in the 2017/18 season, after testing the waters with selection, there are just not enough differentials with the classification in each position from years past, so we have introduced position specific rules regarding what is and isn't a wildcard/differential player in the FPL that we believe is representative to the game this season.


- Any shot stopper outside of the top 8 selected. A differential Goalkeeper is now considered outside of the top bracket due to the overwhelming ownership selection % of the top 8 GK's for any one Gameweek.

- A GK's ownership must not exceed 10%


- A Defender's ownership must fall below 8%, with the top 20 owned defenders all harbouring 8% ownership or more.

- The Outsider Rule: This new rule applies to defenders who are the last defensive option in a team who we provide an exception to as the 4th of 5th most owned defender from one team if they offer a different value. For Example, if Chelsea or Spurs have three defenders with 10% plus ownership, and their 4th defender choice has downwards of 10% ownership, we will include them as a differential, as they are outside of the common conversation when picking defenders, even from within their own squad. This rule will mostly be used when adding defenders from top half clubs, who lack proper differential status for their defensive options.


- Any Midfielder under 8% ownership is classified as a differential.

- Our percentage criteria of 8% is due to a greater wealth of premium midfielders. There is a monopoly of top midfielders for most Premier League clubs, leaving only a handful of Midfielders that provide differential options on a weekly basis.


- The top 10 most owned Forwards in the FPL at any given time can not be touched as a differential.

- Any Forward outside of the 10% ownership range, who is not in the top 10 owned forwards.


Our scoring procedure is exactly the same as the FPL's, and each week a good barometer of success is whether or not our weekly selections outscore the average points for a Gameweek. Each week the results vary due to rotation, and unpredictable scorelines, which applies more so to differential players. We have an invested interest each and every week at finding the different players to make a difference, especially since it is easy to say Aguero or Kane will get on the score sheet.

See below for how our wildcard selections got on this past Gameweek.

Gameweek 7 Average Points: 51 points Gameweek 7 Wildcard Points: 41 points


To help track our progress throughout the 2016/17 season, below you can check how our wildcard selections have done by week to week in the Fantasy Premier League

Best Wildcard Week: GW3 - 48pts, 5 player returns

Worst Wildcard Week: GW4 - 21pts, 1 player return

Average Points: 58 (1), 44 (2), 43 (3), 44 (4), 58 (5), 60 (6), 51 (7) = 358pts Wildcard Points: 36 (1), 40 (2), 48 (3), 21 (4), 44 (5), 37 (6), 41 (7) = 267pts

Best Gamweek Wildcard Player(s)

GW1: Steve Mounie (Crystal Palace vs. Huddersfield) - 12pts

GW2: Jack Butland (Stoke vs. Arsenal) - 11pts

GW3: Alvaro Morata (Chelsea vs. Everton) - 12pts

GW4: Stephen Ward (Burnley vs. Crystal Palace) - 8pts

GW5: Jamaal Lascelles (Newcastle vs. Stoke) - 8pts

GW6: Philippe Coutinho (Leicester vs. Liverpool) - 13pts

GW7: Philippe Coutinho (Newcastle vs. Liverpool) - 10pts

FPL Wildcards 2017/18: Our Top Points Returns

1 - Philippe Coutinho (LIV): 13pts (GW6)

2 - Steve Mounie (HUD): 12pts (GW1)

2 - Alvaro Morata (CHE): 12pts (GW3)

4 - Henrikh Mkhitaryan (MUN): 11pts (GW1)

4 - Jack Butland (STK): 11pts (GW2)

6 - Philippe Coutinho (LIV): 10pts (GW7)

7 - Phil Jones (MUN): 9pts (GW6)

7 - Marcus Rashford (MUN): 9pts (GW7)

9 - Allan Nyom (WBA): 8pts (GW3)

9 - Stephen Ward (BUR): 8pts (GW4)

9 - Jamaal Lascelles (NEW): 8pts (GW5)

Gameweek Wildcard History

GW1: 36 points, 3 player returns

Holding (1), Alexander-Arnold (0), Mounie (12), Josh King (2), Sane (1), Klaassen (1), Yoshida (6), Batshuayi (1), Ritchie (1), Mkhitaryan (11)

GW2: 40 points, 4 player returns

Phil Jones (6), Josh King (2), Stephen Ward (2), Fuchs (6), Wijnaldum (3), Yoshida (5), Butland (11), Mounie (1), Ben Davies (2), Ederson (2)

GW3: 48 points, 5 returns

Danilo (5), Benteke (1), Lossl (6), Antonio (2), Richarlison (3), Blind (6), Morata (12), Nyom (8), Wijnaldum (3), Trippier (2)

GW4: 21 points, 1 return

Emre Can (1), Moses (2), Sigurdsson (2), Phil Jones (1), Alexis Sanchez (1), Yoshida (0), Knockaert (2), Stephen Ward (8), Abraham (2), Mounie (2)

GW5: 44 points, 6 returns

Gross (7), Forster (7), Mahrez (2), Emre Can (4), Lascelles (8), Mendy (6), Nyom (1), Trippier (6), Hazard (1), Rashford (2)

GW6: 37 points, 3 returns

Davinson Sanchez (1), Wood (2), Defoe (2), Mendy (0), Phil Jones (9), Cahill (1), Fabianski (1), Coutinho (13), Ritchie (2), Ramsey (6)

GW7: 41 points, 4 returns

Davinson Sanchez (6), Josh King (2), Rashford (9), Butland (2), Femenia (1), Naughton (2), Pedro (1), Alexis Sanchez (6), Niasse (2), Coutinho (10)


To honour the exceptional diamonds in the rough, below is a a Hall of Fame highlighting the top performing differentials in our Weekly Wildcards series, now into its third season.

2015/16: Top 5 Differentials 1 - Troy Deeney (WAT): 15 appearances, 77 points 2 - Christian Fuchs (LEI): 10 appearances, 48 points 3 - Gylfi Sigurdsson (SWA): 6 appearances, 43 points 4 - Nicolas Otamendi (MCI): 9 appearances, 39 points 5 - Daniel Sturridge (LIV): 5 appearances, 38 points

2016/17: Top 5 Diffferentials 1 - Marcos Alonso (CHE): 9 appearances, 70 points 2 - Gylfi Sigurdsson (SWA): 8 appearances, 62 points 3 - Patrick van Aanholt (SUN & CRY): 6 appearances, 55 points 4 - Troy Deeney (WAT): 13 appearances, 47 points 5 - Gini Wijnaldum (LIV): 10 appearances, 45 points


Each week we assess the FPL's overall Dream Team, pinpointing who were classified as differentials or non-differentials, and which category of player is appearing more for each Gameweek.

2017/18 Gameweek Dream Team's

GW1: 131pts (8/11 differentials)

GW2: 136pts (7/11 differentials)

GW3: 121pts (8/11 differentials)

GW4: 146pts (7/11 differentials)

GW5: 133pts (6/11 differentials)

GW6: 137pts (6/11 differentials)

GW7: 138pts (6/11 differentials)

Gameweek 7: Dream Team

Wildcards: Schmeichel, Monreal, Trippier, Ward, Fellaini, Richarlison

Non Wildcards: Davies, Bellerin, De Bruyne, Doucoure, Kane

Points achieved by Wildcards: 77pts

Points achieved by Non-Wildcards: 61pts


  • For each FPL Gameweek we select a wildcard player from each game.

  • We do not select a back-up player for the differentials we bank on – that’s the whole point, being a wildcard.

  • The selection percentage and player price is accurate with the posting of the article.

  • Our rundowns of player selections are representative of the Premier League’s TV fixture list.

Weekly Differentials: FPL Gameweek Eight

The international break is finally over, and after a slurry of injuries, nervous FPL managers have started their reintegration back into the fantasy life, and for a gameweek overflowing with potential. The big fixture this weekend is the derby between Liverpool and Manchester United, but looking past that most fixtures have lots of differential possibility.

Here are the lucky ten selected for this weekends fixtures:

LIV/MUN: Emre Can (LIV, MID, £5.0mil, 6.6% ownership) BUR/WHU: Chris Wood (BUR, FWD, £6.6mil, 2.7% ownership) CRY/CHE: Gary Cahill (CHE, DEF, £6.3mil, 3.7% ownership) MCI/STK: Raheem Sterling (MCI, MID, £7.9mil, 6.3% ownership) TOT/BOU: Davinson Sánchez (TOT, DEF, £6.0mil, 0.3% ownership) SWA/HUD: Kyle Naughton (SWA, DEF, £4.6mil, 5.7% ownership) WAT/ARS: Alexis Sanchez (ARS, MID, £11.9mil, 2.6% ownership) BHA/EVE: Gylfi Sigurdsson (EVE, MID, £8.2mil, 3.2% ownership) SOU/NEW: Virgil van Dijk (SOU, DEF, £5.4mil, 1.3% ownership) LEI/WBA: Kasper Schmeichel (LEI, GK, £5.0mil, 4.2% ownership)

Goalkeepers (1/10):

Kasper Schmeichel (LEI)

The Dane is the solitary keeper selected this week in the differential picks, and this one shouldn't need much explanation. Leicester are a defensive minded team, as are West Brom, so there is the good chance this fixture won't have too much action in the key goal scoring areas. Schmeichel might have an easy ninety minutes against the Baggies.

Defenders (4/10):

Gary Cahill (CHE), Davinson Sanchez (TOT), Kyle Naughton (SWA), Virgil van Dijk (SOU)

Four defenders this week, and we have gone more into detail on two of them further down the article (Cahill and Sanchez). That leaves two names on the list which we believe will make a different this week.

Virgil van Dijk up against Newcastle makes perfect sense, both the Toon and Saints have been goal shy and this match wreaks a goalless draw. The heavily rumored Liverpool target has come back into the main team and have helped the Netherlands to a convincing win over Sweden the Dutchman is ready to crank up the gears for the South Coast club again.

The other defender is Kyle Naughton whose Swansea host a Terriers who have no bite to their bark at the moment. After a strong start to the season the goals are drying up for David Wagner's team, and Swansea's defence has been stubborn so far, it is the perfect time for Paul Clement's Swans picking up their first clean sheet of the campaign on home soil.

Midfielders (4/10):

Emre Can (LIV), Raheem Sterling (MCI), Alexis Sanchez (ARS), Gyfli Sigurdsson (EVE)

Four midfielders have been selected for gameweek eight, two make perfect sense: Raheem Sterling and Alexis Sanchez. The wingers have been in hot form in recent weeks and they are up against weaker opposition (Watford for Arsenal, Stoke for City), so it is only natural to think that these are obvious differentials.

Gylfi Sigurdsson in the meanwhile has been in great form during the international break for his native Iceland, helping secure qualification to the World Cup in Russia next summer after two inspiring performances (especially away to Turkey) to have the island nation top their qualification group. Fantasy managers are hoping the Icelander can carry his international form into the league for Everton who travel to Brighton, where it will be most likely a set-piece that unlocks their tricky defence.

Lastly, we have Emre Can against Man United. There is no reason we have selected the German other than the fact he is a Liverpool midfielder. Clean sheets from either club are a risky bet, especially from Liverpool, and Mourinho may park the bus against the Reds which means that Rashford can't be trusted to be ultra-attacking in this fixture.

Forwards (1/10):

Chris Wood (BUR)

Just the one forward this week, and that is the New Zealand international Chris Wood of Burnley. We favour a more attacking output from both teams in this affair, and West Ham are still shaky at their best. Burnley however have been resolute, so we believe that it will be another big win for Burnley to retain their place in the top ten this season.

Key Differential: Davinson Sánchez (TOT)

We've been impressed with how quickly the Colombian defender, recently signed from Ajax, has adapted to the Premier League. We are more impressed that he looks at home alongside veteran defenders Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld in a defensively stubborn team. Spurs have done well to sign the defender and integrate him quickly, and the fantasy points have been steadily coming in. Gameweek eight offers the chance for Spurs to pounce on Bournemouth's poor run of form, and kickstart a winning run at their temporary Wembley home. Bournemouth have been goal shy this season and with defenders like Sanchez in the mix this should be a cut and dry fixture, with easy points for your fantasy team in Spurs defensive options.

Key Differential: Gary Cahill (CHE)

Arguably one of the safest picks of the week, Chelsea skipper Gary Cahill has the dream game this weekend when the Blues visit a goalless Crystal Palace. In all the games since Roy Hodgson has taken charge of they are looking less likely to score in each fixture, granted the Eagles have had a tough run, but they are bulldozing records with every passing second on the pitch. Cahill is certain to play, and might have an easy game on his hands, mostly because of all Palace's firepower is either misfiring or injured. We expect nothing else than another tough ninety minutes for the South London club.

Want to know more about The Hype Train?

The Hype Train is an entertainment website founded in 2015, specialising in the Fantasy Premier League (#FPL), providing beautiful graphics and weekly insight for hopeful players attempting to climb ranking tables. We are also occasional media reviewers, with a keen interest to review movies, live sport, and professional wrestling.

As well as providing FPL articles on our website, we are a founding Contributor to the new Fantasy Football Hub, where you can find more unique articles, including weekly Power Rankings, from The Hype Team. You can support us and read exclusive members only content for just £2 per-month by clicking here.

The Hype Train were nominated and shortlisted for the 'Best Football Blog 2016' by the Football Bloggers Association at their annual Football Blogging Awards (The FBA's), with the final presentation held at Old Trafford in Manchester.

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All aboard.


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